British Women in India with Katie Hickman

British Women in India with Katie Hickman
  6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

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This is an online video event, please check the organiser for details about how to watch.

The life and times of hundreds of women who made their way across the sea and changed history.

Join us for this fascinating interview with Katie Hickman, the Sunday Times bestselling author of She-Merchants, Buccaneers & Gentlewomen - British Women in India.

She uncovers the stories of the first British women to set foot in India in the very early seventeenth century, two and a half centuries before the Raj came into being. In stark contrast to the languid memsahibs of popular imagination, these women were tough adventurers, their voyages extraordinarily daring leaps into the unknown.  

While it is well-known that women went to India to find husbands, what is almost unknown is that they also worked as traders, cloth merchants, milliners, bakers, dress-makers, portrait painters, maids, shop-keepers, governesses, teachers, writers, travellers - the list is endless!

India was the British 'wild east', and many women succeeded in building a new and often independent life for themselves.

About the speaker: 

Katie Hickman is the author of eight books, including two bestselling works of non-fiction, Daughters of Britannia - in the Sunday Times bestseller lists for 10 months and a 20-part series for BBC Radio 4 - and Courtesans. She has also written a trilogy of historical novels – the The Aviary Gate, The Pindar Diamond and The House at Bishopsgate - which have been translated into 20 languages.

Her other books include two highly-acclaimed travel books, including Travels with a Mexican Circus, which was shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. Her first novel, The Quetzal Summer, was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award.  

Born into a diplomatic family, she had a peripatetic childhood, growing up in Spain, Ireland, Singapore and South America. She has two children and lives in London.


Absolutely brilliant... these are remarkable women, but until now almost unknown. I was so gripped I couldn't put it down’ - Antonia Fraser

‘With her customary brilliance, Katie Hickman has gone beneath the surface of male imperial history to dig out a cast of extraordinary women, living astonishing lives in remarkable times. At times funny, at others sobering, but always engrossing’ - Anita Anand

‘Sharply observed, snappily written and thoroughly researched, She Merchants provides a fabulous panorama of a largely ignored area of social history.  Katie Hickman successfully challenges the stereotype of the snobbish, matron-like memsahib by deploying a riveting gallery of powerful and often eccentric women ranging from stowaways and runaways through courtesans and society beauties to Generals' feisty wives and Viceroys' waspish sisters. It is full of surprises and new material and completely engaging from beginning to end’

- William Dalrymple, Mira Singh Farm, 2019

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Cost: Free of Charge

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2021-02-26 18:30 2021-02-26 18:30 Europe/London British Women in India with Katie Hickman The life and times of hundreds of women who made their way across the sea and changed history. ,,,

This is an online video event, please check the organiser for details about how to watch.

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